If you haven’t smiled or laughed or been grossed out or had a “Wait, what?” moment of surprise today, then maybe my latest conversation with Gabriella will help…

While walking to the bathroom:

Gabriella (with both arms tucked inside her sweatshirt): “Mr. Morrow, I’m hurting.”

Me: “What do you mean, you’re hurting?”

Gabriella (feeling around inside her sweatshirt): “My breasts hurt. I think I have breast cancer. That’s what Ashton said. It’s probably because I sleep with my bra on. I think I need to go to the nurse.”

Me: “First of all, you don’t have breast cancer. Second of all, I don’t need to know about your sleeping habits. And lastly, no, you can’t go to the nurse. You’re fine.”

Back in the classroom, twenty-five minutes into the next lesson:

Gabriella (with wide eyes and legs squeezed together): “Mr. Morrow, can I go to the nurse and get a pad? I just started my period!”

Me: “I’m not surprised. Yes, please go to the nurse.”

Upon Gabriella returning to the classroom:

Me: “Did you get things taken care of?”

Gabriella (while motioning toward her crotch): “I didn’t get a pad. I just went to the bathroom and stuffed some tissue down there. I mean, I don’t bleed a lot on the first day anyway, so it’s fine.”

Me: “Wait, what?”

Fifteen minutes later in the classroom:

 Gabriella (with wide eyes and legs squeezed together): “Mr. Morrow, can I go get a pad for real now? Like, it’s coming. I can feel it down there!”

Me (shaking my head): “Yes, please, get out of here.”

The next time you reach for a tissue to blow your nose, do think of Gabriella and that once upon a time she used a tissue for other reasons. Then, maybe you will smile or laugh or be grossed out or think “Wait, what?”


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